The swimming and diving teams ended their respective seasons over the last two weekends, with the men placing fifth at the EISL championships and the women finishing eighth at the Ivies. The teams will now enter the offseason, which naturally consists of much need rest after a grueling practice schedule throughout the year. However, there will be two divers that will have to hold off on their relaxation plans. Freshman diver Luke Baer and sophomore diver Kristen Rayhack will head to Navy this weekend for the NCAA Regional Diving Qualifier. In fact, all of the top men and women divers in the Northeast will converge to Lejeune Hall to compete for a chance to qualify for the NCAA championships later this month.
Just making it to the event is an extremely difficult task for any diver. In order to qualify, the diver must score over 300 points in at least one dual meet during the regular season. Baer did just that in the first meet of the season against EISL rivals Penn and Princeton. During the meet, Baer won the 3-meter diving event, while placing second in the 1-meter. Baer also had an impressive meet against Binghamton, finishing first in both of the aforementioned events. Last week at the championships, Baer posted a seventh place finish in the 1-meter dive and an eighth place finish in the 3-meter.
While Baer was the men’s best diver this season, Kristen Rayhack may have been the best overall performer for the women’s squad. Rayhack got off to a terrific start to the season as she won the 3-meter dive against Dartmouth in the first meet. In the following contest, she captured a first place finish in the same event against Penn. To cap off the year, Rayhack posted a score of 476.95 in the 3-meter at the Ivies, good enough for first place. The next closest competitor only scored a 456.50. Her efforts throughout the season not only earned here a bid at the regional qualifiers, but also the award for 2004 Ivy League Diver of the Year.
The two Red divers will compete in the Zone “A” Diving Championships, along with divers from 30 other Northeastern schools. Some of the schools that will be competing include Harvard, Princeton, Penn State, and Pittsburgh.
Out of those divers, only four men and four women will be granted invitations for the NCAA Championships. The women’s championship will be held in College Station, Texas on March 18-20, while the men will travel to East Meadow, New York on March 25-27.
The Naval Academy is only one of five locations around the country that will host the zone diving championships this weekend. Others will be taking place in Athens, GA, (South) Bloomington, Indiana (Central), Houston, Texas (Midwest), and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (West).
The competition will begin on Friday at 1:00 with the men’s 3-meter and the women’s 1-meter events, followed by a full day of diving on Saturday.
Archived article by Bryan Pepper